Lance, LeBron among Shepard's heroes

Originally Published: September 16, 2008
By Jon Mahoney |

Each weekday, ESPN RISE brings you five vital stats from athletes across the country.

[+] EnlargeRussell Shepard
Troy FieldsRussell Shepard is the nation's No. 2 football recruit.

Rated the nation's No. 2 overall football recruit in the ESPNU 150, Cypress Ridge (Houston) quarterback and LSU commit Russell Shepard is arguably the nation's most dynamic athlete, regardless of sport. So who does he look up to? Here's Shepard's top five athletes:

1. Lance Armstrong
"I really like his whole demeanor. For him to overcome cancer and win all of those titles is amazing. His drive is something I've never seen in an athlete before."

2. Michael Jordan
"When you think of Michael Jordan, you think of winning, period. He represents more than just basketball. He represents sports."

3. LaDainian Tomlinson
"People don't realize how hard he works. The way he prepares during the offseason is just crazy."

4. Peyton Manning
"I like him because of his knowledge of the game. He shows that sports aren't all about physical tools."

5. LeBron James
"To me, he's the symbol of fun. He looks like he's having fun all the time. Every time you see him, he looks like he's playing backyard basketball."

Jon Mahoney covers high school sports for

Jon Mahoney is a football and baseball editor for ESPNHS. Email him at